Torrential rain raises flood alarm in Queensland

Monday, January 10, 2011

BRISBANE - Flood waters have cut the southeastern Queensland city of Gympie in two, with about a dozen businesses already under water.

According to the Courier Mail, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned the river could go even higher than that, and if it gets to 21.9 metres, it will match the 1999 flood that saw homes and businesses inundated and the city declared a natural disaster area.

Meanwhile, low-lying areas along the Brisbane River could see some flooding by tomorrow or Wednesday, Bureau of Meteorology hydrologist Peter Baddiley said.

Floodwaters have also cut off the towns of Kilcoy and Toogoolawah in the Brisbane Valley.

About 15 houses at Toogoolawah, near the dam, were evacuated overnight and about 40 people were forced to take refuge at an RSL hall.

Dams outside Brisbane are being credited with saving the city from widespread flooding.

The Wivenhoe Dam is at 140 per cent and Somerset Dam is at 150 per cent, and there’s a lot more capacity available.

Brisbane residents are being offered sandbags and warned to prepare for flash flooding as the capital gets a taste of Queensland’s flood emergency.

Overnight rains flooded streets and river crossings at Fernvale and Crosby Weir bridges.

Twin, Savages, Burtons, Kholo and Colleges Crossing bridges were already swamped and remain so.

About 170,000 megalitres is now gushing out of Wivenhoe Dam in to the river.

Last Thursday, authorities opened one of the dam gates but on Saturday decided to open all five.

Increased rains since then are surging downstream and being joined by large in-flows from the Bremer and Lockyer systems. (ANI)

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